A swingin' week if there ever was one!
Running Wed. February 22 thru Sun. Feb. 26 is the Reel Artists Film Festival, with documentaries and assorted shorts practitioners in painting, photography, and other visuals arts. From a quick gleaning of the roster, most of the docs are about the artists, and several films come from Germany. A full listing of the intriguing programme is at the organization’s website, and the films are being screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Speaking of the TBL, the Cinematheque, still ongoing is The Poetry of Precision: The Films of Robert Bresson, Hollywood Classics: The Cinema is Nicholas Ray Part II, and Late Night – Bangkok Dangerous: The Cinema of Nicolas Cage, of which the last is apparently bringing in ‘ebulliant’ and emotionally intoxicated crowds hungry for things Cagey, big and loud.
Saturday's 10pm presentation is Con Air (1997), a big dumb stupid violent loud action film that really should be seen on the big screen to appreciate the insanity of this obscenely well-cast action monster from Jerry Bruckheimer, and director Simon West (auteur of the never-to-be-appreciated When a Stranger Calls remake. Blacch!).
At the NFB Mediatheque Toronto is a 60 year display tribute to the National Ballet of Canada, which runs Feb. 21 – 29, with film screenings and Q&A sessions, including Victoria Tennant’s Celia Franca: Tour de Force & Ballet Adagio & Pas de Deux.
Cineplex's Front Row Centre Events, which seems to regularly offer HD screenings of classic films and HD feeds of opera and Shakespearean plays is presenting Cinema Kabuki at selected Toronto & Vancouver venues - in T.O. it's the Scotiabank Theatre. Screenings are Wed. Feb. 22 and Thurs. Feb. 23.
Lastly, The Bloor Cinema is slated to (finally!) reopen in March, starting with free screenings of Waste Land March 12 & 13. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey and Corman’s World: The Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (also due on DVD via Anchor Bay March 27) begin March 16, the day scheduled programming is to begin since the theatre was closed & renovated by its new owners, the HotDocs organization / Blue Ice Group. A National Post piece has some additional info.
Oh, and if you happen to be in L.A. this weekend, the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival runs from Feb. 19 – 25, featuring movies directed by Sergio Corbucci, Dario Argento (including a 25 mins. preview of Dracula 3D), and more. Wouldn't it be great if the festival was transplanted to Hogtown?
And in San Francisco, Abel Gance’s Napoleon (1927) will have a limited engagement (March 24, 25, 31, and April 1) at the Paramount Theatre, Oakland. Tickets range from $53 – 135 smackaroons, and Carl Davis will conduct the score Francis Ford Coppola has forbidden the rest of the world to hear for the 5.5 hour restoration Kevin Brownlow undertook years ago and was also unable to show in North America.
Turns out this is the only U.S. venue of this rare screening, largely due to technical and grating rights issues [namely Coppola preferring his dad’s music score]. No Canadian dates yet, but we do have the TBL, and Roy Thompson Hall. The last time the film was shown in Toronto was 1981. I was 13, and didn’t see it. I don’t wish to wait another THIRTY-ONE YEARS because by then I’ll be really, really old.
Mark R. Hasan, Editor
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